Farrow and ball or Little Greene?

(50 Posts)
Staverton Sun 13-May-12 10:49:46

What is the difference between these two paint companies? They are roughly the same price
Does little Greene give the same chalky matt finish? Is it as good quality as f&b?
I can't decide and don't want to paint a whole room before deciding ive picked the wrong one!
Having searched the archives I can't find a thread about it.

Staverton Sun 13-May-12 10:50:55

Or indeed fired earth? Is it the same effect?

fossil97 Sun 13-May-12 12:34:43

They are both good quality paints - depends on the colour or availability I guess? IME LG has a nice velvety finish in the matt, the Ultimatt costs a fortune but is well thought of for durability and standing up well in the kitchen. I ended up with it because I wanted an oil eggshell on my woodwork (only Little Greene do this in "posh" colours) and it was easier to pick further colours off the same card.

Why not buy a few testers and try out?

spotty26 Sun 13-May-12 13:08:43

I am a big fan of LGPC lovely finish, matt, but more durable than F and B. A few decorating blogs have discussed this. Apparently F and B have changed the formula of their eggshell and professionals are not impressed. Will try to find them...

Rhubarbgarden Sun 13-May-12 13:30:08

I've used Little Green in the past and was very happy with it.

minipie Sun 13-May-12 14:09:19

LG quality is every bit as good (my decorator prefers it to F&B).

For emulsion I'd say they are equal, so pick your favourite colour. LG colours tend to be a bit "cleaner" and less browny/muddy tinged than F&B.

For eggshell, LG is better as it's oil based whereas F&B is now water based.

Don't know about fired earth paints sorry.

Pannacotta Sun 13-May-12 14:15:48

I prefer LG to F&B. I have also used F Earth and like their paints too.
I found both more durable than F&B which is important if you have small feral DCs as I do!

Lizcat Sun 13-May-12 14:38:37

My decorator reckons that it takes 3 coats of F and B to get the same finish as 2 coats of LG. I also prefer the pigments in LG.

Staverton Sun 13-May-12 16:11:20

Thanks. That really helpful! I think little Greene has less voc as well so better all round.
Would be really interested to see that blog about the comparison I've searched high and low on the t'internet

minipie Sun 13-May-12 19:34:28

I think it's written by a man who paints bespoke kitchens in case that helps. Basically he says he used to use F&B but has switched to LG. BUT I think his comments apply only to eggshell as that's all he uses (can't quite remember)

justasecond Sun 13-May-12 21:41:31

Minpie - I think you mean traditional painter
Yes he does only talk about eggshell though and I agree with him on that, LG is much better since FB changed the formula.
From the testers I have bought of FB and LG emulsion, LG seems like much better quality, it goes on better and has a great finish and the colour is clearer iyswim although I would not be put off using FB if they do the colour you like. I think you can also get LG to mix FB colours for you at specialist decorator shops like Brewers.

Staverton Sun 13-May-12 22:10:50

Lg it is then. There is also a 20% off offer with living etc this month...

acmasterpainter Mon 14-May-12 18:21:00

Hi, thanks for the mention, Im the traditional painter chap who hand paints kitchens and rates Little Greene very highly!

The oil eggshell is one of the most reliable trade quality oil paints you can get nowadays in that it dries as expected and sands down next day without any trouble. That is not the case with a lot of oil eggshell from other companies. It is "sticky" so if you arent a confident painter, or you are good and want a brushmark free more easily, add up to 10% paint conditioner (Owatrol instead of white spirit) and you will be very happy with the finish, sanding between coats.

F&B hybrid eggshell, I can get a really nice finish, because I have the right brush and I know what to do, but no way is it a delight to use, and I get enough feedback and personal experience to say it is not reliable, so I don't use it.

Little Greene acrylic eggshell is a doddle to use, and with a drop of Floetrol paint conditioner, it flows even better and levels out brushmarks, if you have those troubles.

Little Greene paint across the range is genuinely fab. On new plaster, dilute the absolute matt (old acrylic matt) about 15%, using a 3/8' pile sleeve. If you know how to paint nicely, at first glance, it will look like it has covered in one. Second coat of absolute matt or Intelligent Matt covers as solid as you like.

The LG intelligent matt is tough, the absolute matt is like the F&B estate emulsion.

Anyone who says Little Greene paints are expensive are not being fair. Across the board, the coverage is outstanding and it just doesn't misbehave. Little Greene Sanderson, and Paint Library all have the same pedigree, they are from the same factory I believe, just come in different colour ranges and maybe slightly different formulas, but top trade quality. Fired Earth and Zoffany also similar provenance. If you like your painting to the highest standards, and you like English heritage traditional colours, I wouldnt go looking too far beyond Little Greene myself.

justasecond Mon 14-May-12 20:30:27

Hi Ac thats really useful info and a great blog btw, I have found it very useful. I have just used the LG oil eggshell to do my kitchen cupboards, they have come up lovely although I would have used the Owatrol you mention if I had known as it is a bit thick and you have to work quickly to get a brush free finish.
Also sorry to hijack thread but I have just bought a mahogany (I think) sideboard that I wanted to paint to match the cupboards, what is the best way of going about this? Should I sand down to get rid of the varnish then use a primer followed by eggshell? What would you recommend using as a topcoat to get a more durable finish e.g. wax, varnish?

acmasterpainter Mon 14-May-12 23:47:10

cheers for reading the blog. Painting over varnish, wet sand and prime with Zinsser BIN (shellac based) or Blackfriars Problem Solving Primer (water based) then 2 or 3 coats oil eggshell sanding between coats, or acrylic eggshell, you could seal with clear Polyvine decorators varnish. I specify Annie Sloan chalk paint a lot nowadays, it is no prep and is protected with wax, and looks rather nice when it has hardened off.

fossil97 Tue 15-May-12 13:02:53

AC there is another discussion on difficulties with Annie Sloan, can you shed any light? here

I also took your advice on using LG eggshell for kitchen units and they have come out brilliantly, thanks!

sh77 Tue 15-May-12 13:47:03

Excellent advice. I am about to get my entire property decorated. Will switch from F&B to LG. The quality seems much better. One question - will LG colour match F&B through mixing or finding their own nearest colour?

minipie Tue 15-May-12 18:42:56

sh77 I have had a Little Greene colour match of an F&B colour - it was spot on (much better than the Leyland attempt).

sh77 Tue 15-May-12 21:13:06

Thanks miniepie.

acmasterpainter Wed 16-May-12 16:16:42

hi fossilfuel, added my penny worth about the chalk paint.

Thumbs up for Little Greene eggshell, hey!! Earlier in the year I coached my brother to hand-paint his pine kitchen. He mistakenly painted a timber trim around the worktop, never a good idea. I dumbly volunteered to sand it off for him so it could be varnished. Even with abranet, it took me a couple of hours. It was on really well. That was Dulux Supergrip primer over lacquer, plus oil eggshell.

acmasterpainter Wed 16-May-12 16:21:10

sorry fossil97, i misspelt your name, I was having a ben and jerry moment.

fossil97 Wed 16-May-12 19:45:00

That's OK, thanks for all the details especially the "rolling and tipping", I've never dared use a roller on woodwork before.

Pannacotta Fri 18-May-12 11:40:39

Staverton which Living edition is the LG discount voucher in?
DO you know how long its valid for?

sh77 Fri 18-May-12 12:00:24

Available now. I got mine 2 days ago. Valid until end June.

Pannacotta Fri 18-May-12 12:01:50

Thanks sh

SpringHeeledJack Fri 18-May-12 12:05:56

oh fab thanks for this thread- specially the decorator tips!

am going to get LE later on- waiting for a Little Greene paintcard I ordered in the week

am sure F&B are lovely, but I just find them...well, a bit annoying


sh77 Fri 18-May-12 16:05:59

The downside of lg though is that they don't have outlets where you can get advice. They are v helpful in that regard.

Staverton Fri 18-May-12 20:34:23

Yes this months living etc (Waves to pannacotta!-finalised kitchen design today hurrah!)
Great great tips on here. Will def go for little Greene. Bought welcome dark tester pot whxih is lovely but am hung up on f&b dovetail for the colour... We've got vita white tiles for the floor (pale cream from fired earth) and currently trying to decide between wall tiles.

Any thoughts on Matt vs gloss white brick tiles for bathroom? With grey ish colour paint on wall. I thought I wanted Matt but now not so sure...
Have you seem colporters blog (I think she's spotty26) her bathroom is divine but I might revered the colourwaywith white tiles and painted walls. Decisions decisions ..

Staverton Fri 18-May-12 20:34:46

Ps tons of tiles on the web has 10% off tomorrow only

Staverton Fri 18-May-12 20:35:34

Uh typos galore damn you autocorrect
Revered= reverse etc

sh77 Fri 18-May-12 22:50:35

Is welcome blue grey? Is it a cold colour?

justasecond Fri 18-May-12 22:59:58

I wanted to know about welcome too. I used portland stone on my cupboards but as I painted over old cream coloured eggshell it looks like welcome on the sample card. Is welcome more bluey?

Victoria3012 Fri 18-May-12 23:03:05

I've always used Farrow and Ball, I love the colours, the l

Victoria3012 Fri 18-May-12 23:04:20

I've always used Farrow and Ball, I love the colours, the look and the quality x

sybilwibble Fri 18-May-12 23:50:05

I have welcome deep in my hallway. I'd say it's grey with a touch of lilac .

Staverton Sat 19-May-12 00:18:01

Yes I would agree. It's a lovely light grey (even though its called welcome deep) with a very slight pinky hint
Think there is a welcome as well as welcome deep

acmasterpainter Sat 19-May-12 01:11:09

Hi Victoria 3012, just try a tin of LG on your next Farrow and Ball project. I too always used F&B before finding LG, it was like finding a pair of shoes that fitted right for the first time. In the course of my own decorating work, plus offering online advice to my site visitors and advice given by my colour adviser, whenever LG is specified, the feedback from trade and DIY once they have used LG for the first time, is wow - honestly.

In terms of advice from LG outlets, there are hundreds of independents who in theory have researched the products very well, as they chose to stock them ahead of other brands. In practice though, I agree, product advice is patchy, but that is because product advice is patchy right across UK for most decorating products, LG, F&B included.

With a couple of exceptions, I would always contact a company's tech support ahead of most retailers for top advice.

Pannacotta Sat 19-May-12 08:14:24

Hi Staverton, good to hear your renovations are progressing.
What style is your bathroom?

We have matt white metro tiles in our shower room with dary grey paint and I like it but gloss tiles could work too - would bounce more light around. What style are you after?

Staverton Sat 19-May-12 09:41:35

How funny, I'm copying honest! This is v cheeky but could you poss post a pic
of your bathroom- or email me it to me if I PM you my email address. I haven't ever seen matt white metro tiles in situ despite trawling the magazines. With grey paint it sounds lovely.
Bathroom suite is modern (it's a v old house but think will work well). Kaldawei steel bath, gorgeous roper Rhodes concealed shower valve with cross taps. Wall mounted bath filler and basin filler, the same cross taps (but cheaper from ultra- ultra helix). Back to walk loo and square sink on top of custom made painted wood cabinet.

Staverton Sat 19-May-12 09:41:52

Sorry should say I'm NOT copying honest!

Pannacotta Sat 19-May-12 09:48:30

No probs just pm me with your email and I'll send over a pic!

Staverton Sat 19-May-12 10:58:32


SpringHeeledJack Sat 19-May-12 17:38:29

just got my Little Greene paint card

it's laaahvely- includes proper colours that don't look like they came from a workhouse

InteriorDesigner Fri 09-Nov-12 12:45:29

Fired Earth, Farrow & Ball and Little Greene are all great paints.

Earthborn is another - which is also organic.

I've written a few reviews about them here -

Hope they are useful?

amazonianwoman Fri 09-Nov-12 13:10:09

An old thread I know, and probably a really thick question, but how do you go about getting Little Greene to match a F&B colour?

I really fancy F&B Shaded White for the hall/stairs/landing but would prefer to use LG if it's harder wearing, esp for a high traffic area (with feral kids too grin and DH who never washes his hands after reading the Sunday Times every bloody morning angry)

Pannacotta Fri 09-Nov-12 13:38:58

amazonian do you have a local stockist for Little Greene?
We have a posh paint place here and they have all the F&B codes for the LG paints and make them to order.

amazonianwoman Fri 09-Nov-12 14:21:14

Hi thanks pannacotta not to my knowledge, will have to investigate. I've only found an interior decor place which can order the paint for next day delivery.

Pannacotta Fri 09-Nov-12 14:23:51

I would ask them or perhaps just give LG a call.

midseasonsale Wed 14-Nov-12 23:02:15

My friend is an interior designer and we have had a similar discussion. Little greene is better quality and needs less coats.

kimmyyates1 Tue 18-Jun-13 22:30:54

I currently restore furniture the paint i use is annie sloan and after i wax with annie sloan clear soft wax, is there a spray wax or something i could use instead that would be easier or give a better finish

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